SC Bench stated that,”It is not for recording the proceedings”.
Supreme Court has clarified that its orders directing Government to install the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the courts and tribunals is meant solely for security purposes and not to record the proceedings, which is anyway open to the public.
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice A.K Goel and Justice U.U Lalit stated that“We have passed orders for installation of CCTV cameras so that concerns regarding safety and administration of justice could be addressed. A court proceeding is open to all those who are present in the court, but it may not be open to everyone who is not there in the court too”.
On March 28, 2017, Supreme Court had directed that the CCTV cameras should be installed in courts and important locations of court complexes in at least two districts in every State and Union Territory. Monitor of these cameras should be placed in chamber of District and Session Judge concerned.
SC Bench in its order, made it clear that the footage from cameras would not be made available to public under Right to Information Act or without permission of High Court concerned.
Supreme Court had considered the issue of CCTV cameras in tribunals where open hearing takes place like courts. It was further directed that cameras may be installed in subordinate courts in a phased manner.
While examining status report filed by Centre on installation of the cameras, observed that “substantial work” had been done by the government in this regard.
SC in its order said that,“Only further issue that survives is whether installation of CCTV cameras can be considered in State tribunals and quasi judicial authorities, including the executive magistrate and revenue courts”.
Apex Court has asked High Courts and Centre to consider this issue and take a decision.
The court asked the Union Law Ministry to take a call on whether CCTV cameras should be installed in central quasi judicial authorities within four weeks.
SC Bench has scheduled PIL petition filed by Pradyuman Bisht in 2015 for the next hearing on April 5,2018.